The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

TBR 85 Now it's summer I could be happy or in distress...Issue 85 sizzles with a hot line-up of five diverse stories.  We’re all very excited about Irish writer Colin Barrett, who is making waves on both sides of the pond.  In The Moon we follow a queue of underage girls wanting to get in a small-town nightclub which fortunately, for them, has a lenient bouncer. 

Steve G. Eoannou’s Muscle Cars really does pack some muscle.  A young couple live next door to some kids who love muscle cars, loud music, and booze; while the husband of the young couple loves pumping iron to show off his own muscles.  When his wife pushes him to talk to the kids about the ruckus, he reluctantly does so, opening the door to an intriguing, memorable encounter.

Another fascinating new writer is April L. Ford.  In Layla she presents a young girl in a juvenile  detention center with a prosthetic leg of the old-fashioned sort “like an exploded Barbie limb,” who becomes the focus of attention of a case worker with some issues of her own. Ford is a young writer whose prose is sure and confident and wholly mature.

In RollbackKathleen Heil delivers a tour-de-force which takes us to the center of a Black Friday crowd, having camped out all night waiting to dive into a store to “buy something they know their children don’t exactly need .  . . but if they can get their boys and girls the latest toy or piece of technology, perhaps their children will not feel their misery, as they clean toilets and prepare fast food and conduct the sale of consumer goods in this country.”  But what happens when the crowd becomes impatient?

Last up, Scottish-Australian author Ryan O’Neill.  I adore his writing, which plays with structure and touches on so many levels.  In English as a Foreign Language, an EFL teacher with a Hungarian wife finds it hard to separate his personal life from the classroom, making for some funny and touching moments.    

In picks from back issues we feature two superb stories —And the Winner Is by Scottish writer Laura Marney; and Storage by David Ramos Fernandes, London born, now living in Scotland.
Our quiz this issue is on James Joyce.  Answers to the quiz from our last issue Terrorism in Contemporary Literature can be found here.  Seven people correctly answered our quiz, so names went into a hat (yes, we really do that) and the winner came out Christine PalauFelicidades!  And thanks to all who participated.

Book reviews
this issue focuses on the Santa Fe Writers Project, an independent publisher that is doing something extraordinary:  really caring about writers and the craft of writing.

Local News:  Politically, regional elections are set for Sept. 27th.  Although voters are officially simply electing the next Catalan premier, current premier Artur Mas and his team are presenting it as a de facto referendum on Independence, while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is saying there will be no Catalan independence no matter what nationalist leaders are promising.  So that battle continues.

In other news, it’s summer in the city, it’s hot, with more tourists than ever, but if you stick with your favorite off-the-beaten-path plazas and cafes and beach spots, you can enjoy yourself quite nicely. 

Love and peace from Barcelona,


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